Tesco is partnering with supplier Branston to take potatoes that were previously destined for catering and putting them in stores, making them readibly accessible to customers.
The "chipping varieties" have skin blemishes but are otherwise good to eat and will be sold under the UK retailer's "Perfectly Imperfect" range. Potato growers have been left with surplus stock because of the closure of restaurants and fast food outlets.
Since March, Tesco says it has seen increased demand for potatoes, with an average rise of 30 per cent across its stores.
“Taking these surplus potatoes not only helps meet the extra demand at the moment but also supports growers at a time when many are facing a real struggle to keep their businesses going," Tesco Potato Buying Manager Ben Rowbotham said. "The varieties are mainly ones used for making chips, so while they might not look as cosmetically perfect as others they will still be delicious and excellent for pan frying, sautéing, making potato wedges and other dishes."
Each year a third of all UK-grown potatoes are destined for the crisp industry or to be turned into chips.
“We are working with Tesco to support our potato growers and ensure we honour our existing contracts with them," Branston Commercial Director Richard Clark said. “We now have the opportunity to get additional types of potatoes too, which would have otherwise been destined for chip shops and restaurants.”
The bags carry a clever sticker stating, "I’m not looking my normal gorgeous self but I still taste great, buy me and support British farmers."
The products that these potatoes will be going into are:
- Tesco White potatoes 2.5kg
- Tesco Baking potatoes 2.5kg
- Perfectly Imperfect potatoes 2.5kg